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- Posted on Oct 12th 2012 12:00PM by Jason MacNeil
According to The Weed Blog, the minute-long ad posted yesterday on YouTube begins with Etheridge introducing herself and explaing why she's "encouraging you to vote yes on Amendment 64." The singer says her reasoning is "because a few years ago I was going through cancer chemotherapy and I was suffering."
"The nauseous, the pain, it was terrible," Etheridge says. "Prescription drugs were not helping. The only thing that allowed me to function and regain my strength was marijuana and I'm grateful for the relief it provided me. You know before I needed to use marijuana I just accepted the laws that treated marijuana users as criminals. But it's funny how a serious illness can give you a new outlook on life.
"I now see that it's wrong to arrest adults for using marijuana and it's even more wrong to allow gangs and cartels to profit from selling marijuana. Instead we should allow adults to possess limited amounts of marijuana and we should regulate marijuana sales in order to generate tax revenues for public schools construction and other community needs. To me, regulating marijuana is simply the right thing to do. Please vote yes on Amendment 64."
Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in October, 2004 and underwent chemotherapy. The singer made a memorable appearance in early 2005 at the Grammy Awards where, bald from the effects of treatment, she performed a cover of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" opposite Joss Stone. In a 2009 CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, Etheridge said she instantly noticed a difference in her pain after using marijuana.
"It was normal," she said. "And I could -- all of a sudden I could get out of bed. I could go see my kid. And it was amazing." Etheridge also said during the interview that she continued to use marijuana to deal with the effects the treatments and the disease caused to her gastrointestinal system.
"If it helps somebody at the end of the day instead of drinking a couple of glasses of wine, to have a few tokes, who are we to say?" she added. "Why must we in this country be so judgmental about this? These people are not hurting anybody. They are not hurting themselves."
According to Regulate Marijuana, the amendment would "declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol." The amendment continues by stating individuals would have to show proof of age before purchasing the drug. As well, "selling, distributing or transferring" marijuana to those under age would be illegal as well as driving under the influence of marijuana. Finally, "legitimate, taxing business people" would sell the drug with the drug subjected to "additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected."
Etheridge, who released her latest studio album 4th Street Feeling in September, is currently on a North American trek supporting the record. The musician performs this evening in Austin as part of Austin City Limits Live.